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2017 Rams Roster Preview: DE Matt Longacre Transitioning In 2017?

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Officially listed as a DE, Longacre may fit better as an OLB in DC Wade Phillips’ 3-4 scheme.

NFL: St. Louis Rams at Arizona Cardinals Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Los Angeles Rams DE Matt Longacre is one of a trio of defensive lineman that the Rams have successfully developed in recent years to fill out the back of their rotation. DT Louis Trinca-Pasat (roster preview), DE Ethan Westbrooks (roster preview) and Longacre all were developed in-house, and each have shown varying levels of potential at some point in their careers.

Westbrooks is entrenched in the DL rotation, and LTP is coming off a major knee injury. Their futures seem a bit more certain, for better and worse respectively. Longacre’s position is a bit more up in the air.

Roster Battle

This is where it gets interesting.

At 6’3” and 255 pounds, Longacre isn’t built to be a DE in the 3-4. He has the build of an OLB, but I haven’t heard any whisper of a position change for him from the team. With depth extremely thin behind OLB Connor Barwin and OLB Robert Quinn, Longacre’s chances to make the team are likely better at OLB as well.

Expectations

Be flexible. Whether it’s adjusting to OLB or trying to play small at DE, Longacre is going to have to make significant changes to his game in 2017

Chances Of Making Roster (5/10)

If we knew more about what position he would be playing, that would make this a lot simpler. I figure he would have about a 3/10 shot as an undersized DE. Conversely, I would put him at a 7/10 to make it as a OLB.

I’ll take the average of the two and put Longacre squarely in limbo heading into camp.